Activists also point out that the building collapse exposed several loopholes in the working of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).

In the wake of the multi-storey building collapse in Moulivakkam on Saturday, consumer activists and advocates have pointed out that promoters are liable to compensate their investors.

They have also cautioned potential purchasers to be aware of legal and technical provisions before investing their savings in property.

Stressing the role of banks in providing loans for such projects, activists said financial institutions should evaluate the project and also check the quality of materials used in construction. “A joint committee, comprising engineers of different specialisations, should be formed to inspect and make sure the building is being constructed as per plan. Only then should banks disburse the full loan amount,” said well-known activist R. Desikan.

Activists also point out that the building collapse exposed several loopholes in the working of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), the principal agency for sanctioning multi-storeyed buildings. B. Sadagopan, a consumer activist, said the clean chit given to the CMDA had created an impression that the authority’s role was restricted to checking plan documents and providing sanction, thereby being able to pass on any blame for quality of construction to builders.

He faulted the lack of transparency on the part of the State government regarding procedures to be adopted to compensate buyers of destroyed and sealed buildings.

“The builders have not bothered to insure the structure. The purchasers too have not bothered to enquire about the promoters properly before paying money,” said Mr. Desikan.

A senior official of the Chennai Corporation said a developer had to submit a report from a Chartered Structural Engineer that would provide technical details of the land on which construction was to be taken up. However, he said, in some cases, reports were being prepared without spot inspections.

The Corporation official said a revamp of the building plan sanction procedure was needed, and engineers of the Public Works Department (PWD) and other agencies with thorough knowledge of civil engineering have to carry out inspection at different stages and provide certification.

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